Blades of Glory is a 2007 American Comedy film directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, and starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. The movie was released on March 30, 2007 by DreamWorks (through Paramount Pictures). It was rated PG-13 by the MPAA, and 12 by BBFC. It was released on DVD and on HD DVD on August 28, 2007 and released on Blu-ray Disc on May 20, 2008.
At the 2003 World Winter Sport Games, rival men's singles skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell), a skillful skater but raunchy sex addict and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder), a talented but girly skater tie for gold and an argument ensues on the awards podium. It quickly devovles into a fight. Having disgraced their sport, they are both stripped of their gold medals, and receive a lifetime ban from men's singles competition. Jimmy's billionaire adoptive father Darren MacElroy (William Fichtner) disowns him and leaves him on the side of the road.
Three and a half years later, Jimmy is working at a winter sporting goods store and gets demoted to sorting out the stock when he refuses to listen to a customer telling him her skating boot is too tight. Chazz skates in the kiddie skating show 'Grublets on Ice' as the 'Evil Wizard,' has gained a lot of weight, and gets fired from his job for being in a drunken stupor on stage.
Jimmy's stalker Hector (Nick Swardson) tells him of a loophole in the ban: he is banned only from singles skating and can still compete in pair skating or Ice dancing. Jimmy contacts his old coach (Craig T. Nelson) but is unable to find a female partner. Jimmy's search for a partner leads him to Chazz, and his coach convinces the two of them to join up as same-sex pairs team, because of a loophole in the regulations (also found by Jimmy's stalker Hector) that fails to state the genders of the pairs and dance team.
The reigning U.S. national pairs champions, the brother-sister team of Stranz and Fairchild van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler), see the new pair as a threat to their dominance and begin to conspire against Chazz and Jimmy. The pair convince their sister Katie (Jenna Fischer) to spy on the new team. They always take advantage of her by reminding her of the death of her parents, who were in a car accident while driving young Katie to her ice skating practice. In the process, she becomes acquainted with Jimmy and they develop a relationship. Although Chazz and Jimmy are initially disgusted by each other, they eventually develop a friendship. They compete at the United States Figure Skating Championships and earn a chance to compete at the Winter Sport Games once again, this time as a pairs team.
Chazz and Jimmy’s coach informs them that, in order to win, they will need to perform a technique that has never before been performed successfully. The technique, called the Iron Lotus, is an extremely complicated maneuver that Coach developed years ago while he was still training pairs. However, it is also extremely dangerous: the only known attempt of the maneuver took place in North Korea and resulted in the man Decapitating the woman with his skate blade. Nonetheless, they decide to attempt it as the coach is convinced that the shortcomings of the Korean attempt was that the physics were off - and two males would be better suited for the move. They then begin to train. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Katie begin a romantic relationship with some help from Chazz and Fairchild. Seeking to exploit this new friendship, Fairchild commands Katie to disrupt the duo by having sex with Chazz, threatening to harm Jimmy physically if Katie does not comply. Katie invites Chazz to her room, where she tries to seduce him. Chazz refuses to have sex with Katie, citing his friendship with Jimmy as the reason, but cannot resist groping her chest. Jimmy witnesses this and is outraged at Chazz's and Katie's betrayals.
The next day, Chazz and Jimmy are both kidnapped and restrained, separately, by Stranz and Fairchild, who are determined to prevent the two from competing. Katie gets tired of her siblings. While handcuffing Jimmy in a bathroom, Fairchild reveals that she and Stranz had commanded Katie to have sex with Chazz yet she did not go through with it, to Jimmy's relief. Chazz escapes but is pursued by Stranz through the city: the pursuit is on ice (with skates) at first but is then continued through streets and stores. He tries to kill Chazz with a crossbow, but accidentally shoots the Winter Sport Games Mascot Snowflake. Jimmy, who is locked in a men's bathroom, also escapes.
Meanwhile, Stranz and Fairchild perform their routine, a dramatization of the "forbidden romance" of JFK and Marilyn Monroe. Both Chazz and Jimmy arrive separately in the ice rink just in time to compete. Chazz and Jimmy reconcile quickly (Chazz telling Jimmy and the entire arena that "Katie is not a whore") and begin their routine, which has a science fiction theme. Fairchild, seeing the two doing extremely well, throws a pearl from her costume onto the ice. Chazz trips over the pearl and breaks his ankle, which renders him unable to perform his role in the Iron Lotus. Jimmy then offers to switch places with him. Although they have never practiced the other's roles (and it took hundreds of tries for Chazz to not decapitate a test dummy), they perform the Iron Lotus perfectly. Jimmy and Chazz win the competition, Jimmy reconciles with Katie, and Stranz and Fairchild are arrested due to the kidnappings as well as Stranz shooting the mascot. Stranz and Fairchild begin arguing, then kiss each other incestuously. Chazz and Jimmy then meet and fly off into the sky (literally, through some sort of rockets on their skates). While the credits are rolling, Hector is seen playing with dolls of himself, Jimmy and Chazz.
|Will Ferrell||Chazz Michael Michaels|
|Jon Heder||Jimmy MacElroy|
|Will Arnett||Stranz Van Waldenberg|
|Amy Poehler||Fairchild Van Waldenberg|
|Jenna Fischer||Katie Van Waldenberg|
|Craig T. Nelson||Robert (Coach)|
|Nick Swardson||Hector the stalker|
- All of the scenes at the United States Figure Skating Championships and World Wintersport Games were shot at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The stadium used for the outside shoots is the unique Montreal Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Olympics. The outdoor chase scenes were also shot on-location in Montreal. The building used for athlete housing in Montreal was the unique Habitat 67, built for Expo 67.
- The film was delayed for a small undetermined period of time when Jon Heder broke his ankle while doing a skating program for the film. Coincidentally, Ferrell's character breaks his ankle in the film.
- At one point in the film, Jon Heder's character answers a reporter's question in Japanese. Heder actually does speak fluent Japanese, having spent two years in Japan as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Reception and box officeEdit
The film had favorable reviews, scoring 69% "Fresh" in Rotten Tomatoes, and the critics' consensus was that "Blades of Glory successfully milks its one-joke premise into a feature-length comedy".
The movie grossed $33,014,202 on its opening weekend in March 30-April 1 with 3,372 theaters, averaging $9,790 per screen, beating out Disney's Meet the Robinsons to be the #1 film. It made $22.5 million in its second weekend, losing only 32% of its audience and retaining the #1 spot. As of December 3, 2007 the film has made $118,245,842 in America and $26,264,403 in the foreign market place. Its worldwide tally is $144,510,245.
Real skaters on setEdit
- Sarah Kawahara - Main Choreographer
- Lisa Marie Allen - Asst. Choreographer
- Sasha Cohen - Herself
- Scott Hamilton - Himself/Commentator
- Peggy Fleming - Herself/Skating Official
- Brian Boitano - Himself/Skating Official
- Dorothy Hamill - Herself/Skating Official
- Nancy Kerrigan - Herself/Skating Official
- Chad Brennan - Will Ferrell's skating double
- Ethan Burgess- Jon Heder's skating double
- Patrick Hancock - Will Arnett's skating double / Will Ferrell's skating double #2
- Tiffany Scott - Amy Poehler's skating double
- Todd Sand - Addl. skating/Jon Heder
- Ryan McKinnon - Stunt Skate Double
- Scott Irvine - Stunt Skate Double
- Armen Saakian - Stunt Skate Double
- Akop Manoukian - Stunt Skate Double
- John Zimmerman - Stunts/Himself
- Kyoko Ina - Stunts/Herself
- Yuka Sato - Stunts/Herself
- Jamie Salé - Stunts/Herself
- David Pelletier - Stunts/Himself
- Benjamin C. Oberman - Skating Consultant
- Jonathon DePaz - On-ice Camera Operator
- Judy Blumberg - Amy Poehler's coach
- Susan Austin - Will Ferrell's coach
- Dawn Porter - Jon Heder's coach
- Julie Brault - Skating Coach (Montreal)
- Matt Evers - Skate Tree #1
1980 Olympian Lisa Marie Allen also appears in the film as the blond "Sweater Mom" who gets licked on the face by Will Ferrell's character during his Stockholm solo.
References to figure skatingEdit
Blades of Glory is filled with allusions to famous and iconic moments in figure skating, as well as other figure skating films.
- Due to problems with the judging, Chazz and Jimmy are forced to share a gold medal (see 2002 Olympic Winter Games figure skating scandal). As well, the next time those Games are contested, the ISU Judging System is used.
- Chazz and Jimmy are given a life-time ban from singles skating, as Tonya Harding was.
- At the beginning of their Nationals "Fire and Ice" program, Chazz and Jimmy kneel on the ice facing each other and writhe backwards and forwards. This is taken from the beginning of Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean's iconic Bolero Free dance (figure skating) from the 1983/1984 season. Their free dance at the 1984 Winter Olympics received straight 6.0s for artistic impression.
- Stranz and Fairchild plot to injure Jimmy "below the knee and above the ankle", referencing the attack on Nancy Kerrigan.
- Jimmy's peacock costume is modelled on Johnny Weir's iconic The Swan costume from the 2005-2006 season, complete with glove. Weir says he is flattered by the parody.
- The Iron Lotus is a parody of the Pamchenko from The Cutting Edge. Both moves are physically impossible to perform.
- During a conversation, Chazz boasts to Jimmy about sleeping with numerous famous female figure skaters, including Michelle Kwan and Oksana Baiul.
- During the World Winter Sport Games, the standings briefly flash across the screen. Many of the names refer to famous skaters, most of whom are not pairs skaters, and in many cases, the male name is in the position of the female name (female is always first). The standings (presumably after the short program, although all scores are higher than any score ever posted in the short program) are as follows:
- Near the end in the movie, "Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" (which Will Ferell starred in) the ESPN announcer quoted " Its all over folks. Upcoming is Ice Dancing to the hit of Motown". In Blades of Glory, Chazz Micheal Micheals is supposedly from Motown
Figure skating elements in the filmEdit
- A few of the lifts Chazz and Jimmy perform are dance lifts, not pairs lifts. These are not illegal in pairs competition, and have been performed by many skaters in international competition, and therefore would not be something Scott Hamilton had never seen before. Despite what Coach claims, there is no specific lift named a "dance lift". Rather, the term refers to a variety of lifts performed in Ice dancing.
- The Iron Lotus is made up of the following elements:
- A head banger lift (illegal to perform in eligible competition)
- A Back flip by the released partner (illegal to perform in eligible competition)
- A butterfly by the releasing partner
In the movie, the move is performed by Patrick Hancock in the place of Will Ferrell, and Ethan Burgess and James Yorke for Jon Heder.
- The so-called "loophole" does not exist. International Skating Union regulations state that a pair team on the senior (Olympic) level is made up of a man and a lady (note that "lady" is the official terminology for a female skater).While there are "similar pairs" (pairs made up of two men or two women), such pairs do not compete in ISU competitions. However, Chazz and Jimmy could have competed together in a synchronized skating team, or at a non-ISU event such as the Gay Games that includes similar pairs.
- Official Website
- Blades Of Glory
- Blades of Glory soundtrack Questions, answers and other music information.
- Blades of Glory movie trailer
- RealMovieNews new production stills
- Gay Panic at the Ice Rink: Interpretation of the film's gay subtext.
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